Leveson-defenders and tabloid-bashers alike have jumped at the opportunity to attack the tabloids over their failure to expose the crimes committed by Jimmy Savile. “Why didn’t the tabloids nail him?” moaned Sir Michael White, with Roy Greenslade on hand to kick the redtops for having the nerve to attack the BBC. Though one tabloid actually did come close to exposing Savile.
Back in 2008 Savile started legal proceedings against the Sun after they ran a photo of him visiting the Haut de la Garenne children’s home at the centre of the Jersey child abuse scandal. Over the following days the paper carried a series of allegations including that Savile had admitted visiting the home and was refusing to help the police with their inquiries. At the time Savile said:
“I feel as though I have been subjected to a long and drawn out mugging by the Sun newspaper. The only difference is that its journalists do not wear hoodies.”
So the tabloids did go after Savile, and they were only stopped from getting to the bottom of his crimes by the legal action he launched against them. Worth remembering…